I found this DIY concrete countertop on the Instructables website, which bills itself as: "the world’s biggest show and tell."
The DIY-er, screen name "doubleabattery," shows step-by-step how he created some handsome counters. Why did he choose concrete? He writes:
So I wanted to redo the kitchen in my 1916 Foursquare and I was bored with all the countertop options. Unless you’re getting formica, they all cost about the same as granite or marble, look just like granite or marble, and are as typically typical as granite or marble.
The one material that I found was much more customizable than the other solid surfaces was concrete. The colors and textures are endless, you can mold it into just about any shape you can imagine, and it retains the advantages of solid surfaces. But it’s concrete, so it must be cheaper than milled stone, right? If you have a professional do it for you, it can actually cost MORE than other solid surfaces. . . . Do it yourself, and you can save a bundle. I priced granite countertops in my kitchen and they came out at around $4,000. My custom concrete counter tops ended up coming in at below $800, including the rental of the concrete mixer.
But, doubleabattery warns, there are drawbacks to the material, which he lists as:
• This is not a project that can be completed in a weekend. No matter how small the countertop is, there’s at least a 10-day curing process for grinding and polishing.
• Concrete needs to be properly sealed at the beginning and waxed about every 30 days to avoid staining.
• The final outcome might not be exactly what you expected, especially if you’re doing it for the first time. The good news is that there are ways to remedy many outcomes that you may not like.
And finally, he highly recommends the book Concrete Countertops by Fu-Tung Cheng, which I also believe is the very best book on the topic. See how it’s done. And be sure to read the comments from other readers.